Amidst the uproar against the Yulin festival, I have been seeing a good number of internet memes calling those who speak for dogs and cats but not for pigs and cows hypocrites. One such meme (see image below) calls for the end of the La Loma Lechon Festival with the hastag StopLaLoma.
I’m not sure if this campaign against the Lechon Festival is a real thing, but since it came out in the midst of protests against the Yulin Festival, I am under the impression that the people who initiated the campaign believe that if Filipinos can speak so vocally against a meat festival in China, then they should be able to show the same, passionate disgust against a meat festival in their own backyard. If my assumption about the reason for this campaign is correct, then this, ladies and gentlemen, dogs and cats, is a wonderful example of the Straw Man Argument.
A straw man argument is a common faulty argument where one misinterprets the position of the other side. This argument for example:
Joeyisared: I am in favor of birth control pills.
Shining Knight of Columbus: Birth control pills have carcinogenic properties. So you’re in favor of giving our wives cancer?
The straw man that the Shining Knight of Columbus created is the idea that Joeyisared favors wives getting cancer. That is not the position of Joeyisared.
Going back to the Yulin and La Loma festivals, I would like to explain my position on the issue. I am against the Yulin festival (and not the La Loma Lechon festival) for the following reasons:
- The Yulin festival is illegal. The Lechon festival isn’t. The Chinese government has banned the Yulin festival. When you support the Yulin festival, you are encouraging the people’s disregard for the law. Today they’re disregarding the government ban on a festival; tomorrow they’ll disregard the UNCLOS and claim the West Philippine Sea.
A significant number of the cats and dogs killed in the Yulin festival are stolen pets. I have never heard of any reports of pigs getting stolen because of the Lechon festival. When you support the Yulin festival, you encourage the “petnapping” of dogs and cats. Today they’re stealing their neighbors’ pets; tomorrow, they’ll be stealing their neighbors’ territories.
Because the Yulin festival is illegal, the Chinese health authorities do not guarantee that the dog and cat meat sold at the festival is safe to eat. In fact, Chinese authorities caught a man selling dog meat laced with toxins. Apparently, the man poisoned the dogs to kill them.
The Yulin festival is a celebration of animal cruelty. The Lechon festival is a celebration of food. In the Yulin festival, dogs and cats and hanged, burned alive, beaten to death, or boiled alive. Show me a slaughterhouse that does these cruel things to pigs, and I will be the first to boycott it.
I am not a vegetarian. In fact, I consider myself a carnivore. I am not against eating dog or cat meat. I am against disregard for the law. I am against stealing. I am against selling meat that isn’t safe to eat. I am against animal cruelty. That’s why I’m against the Yulin festival.
If you don’t know what the Yulin festival is, it is an annual festival in Southwestern China where thousands of dogs and cats are killed and sold for their meat. Here’s a link to CNN’s editorial on the festival: Friend of Food? Dog Meat Trade Divides China.